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Yeadon prepare to salute top players

Yeadon prepare to salute top players

Yeadon are to honour 19 of their most distinguished players during a special celebration at their White Swan Ground clubhouse on Saturday.

They are saluting the achievements of the players who have taken more than 300 wickets or scored 5,000 runs while playing for the club at first or second team level along with the four wicketkeepers who have claimed the most victims.

There will be special tributes to four cricketers who have sadly passed away, the much-admired seamer Peter Graham, outstanding all-rounder Dennis Bateson, the fine opening bowler Brian Redfearn and seamer, George Cousins.

Among those due to attend is the current Yorkshire County Cricket Club president Geoff Cope who took 362 Bradford League wickets for Yeadon between 1981 and 1988. Cope was also the driving force for the building of the current Yeadon clubhouse.

Les Wood, who is a popular figure among the league’s umpiring ranks, will be in the attendance as the club’s all-time leading run scorer with 10,271 to his name.

Club secretary Andrew Pickering is closing in on Wood’s tally with 10,038 to his name. He has been planning the event and is looking forward to welcoming former colleagues back to the club.

He said: “It is important not just to acknowledge the achievements of the players but also recognise their loyalty and service to the club.

“A lot of work has gone into planning this event and none of it would have been possible without the incredible work of Michael Rhodes. He spent hours going through the league records to provide the statistics for each of the players.”

Pickering added: “I am sure there will be plenty of stories flying around when everybody meets up again. This is a wonderful opportunity to say thank you for all they have achieved for Yeadon.

The batsmen being honoured are Wood, Pickering, James Todd, Darren Smith and Damon Gormley. The bowler are Paul Machell, Nick Darfield, Billy Cousins, Richard Machell, Dennis Bateson, Geoff Cope, George Cousins, Brian Redfearn, Peter Graham, Tony O’Connor. The four wicketkeepers are Pat Fordham, Jake Wray, Paul Hebden and Glyn Draper.

The guest of honour for the evening is the Pudsey St Lawrence chairman Chris Gott and the event is being compered by league chief executive Alan Birkinshaw.

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